Palantir CEO Urges Tech Companies To Collaborate With Government On AI Initiatives

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and owner of X, left, and Palantir CEO Alex Karp arrives participate in the AI Insight Forum in the Russell Senate Office Building in September 2023. BILL CLARK/CQ-ROLL CALL, INC VIA GETTY IMAGES.


By Adam Eckert

Following a private artificial intelligence discussion at Capitol Hill last week, Palantir Technologies Inc (NYSE: PLTR) CEO Alex Karp publicly discussed its potential dangers.

In an interview Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street,” Karp called on other tech companies to work with the government on their AI initiatives. 

“The Silicon Valley motto has been ‘I get rich, you get nothing,’ and they obviously often have extended that to the U.S. government,” said Karp. 

Palantir was embarrassing other people in AI when it came to working with the government, Karp said slyly. The company was involved in talking with legislators and helping them understand that way too few dollars are being spent on AI, and others should too, he stressed.

The Palantir chief noted Palantir was one of the only companies since the 1950s that has produced government products which are commercially in high demand.

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and owner of X, left, and Palantir CEO Alex Karp arrives participate in the “AI Insight Forum” in the Russell Senate Office Building in September 2023. BILL CLARK/CQ-ROLL CALL, INC VIA GETTY IMAGES.

The overarching discussion at last week’s closed meeting with senators involved figuring out how to advance AI while simultaneously mitigating risks, Karp explained. 

“What happens if generative AI becomes so powerful that in fact, it is a risk to humankind? That is a real issue,” he said.

Furthermore, we [the U.S.] must make sure our adversaries, namely Russia and China, don’t develop tools that are vastly superior to ours and change the world order, he added. 

Karp suggested the discussions were very productive. It’s easier to get people to “go naked” in private because you can say what you believe without facing public scrutiny, he said. 

“There was a super heterogeneous group of people there from union leaders to tech leaders. Among tech leaders you have kind of more corporate-y people, then you have the freak show,” said Karp referring to himself. 

Why It Matters: Karp sat next to Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk at the closed-door U.S. Senate discussion on regulating AI.

He told CNBC that he and Musk discussed the future of AI and its potential risks to humanity. He was unwilling to share Musk’s comments, but he shared what he told Musk. 

“There’s those that think AI is safe and those that think it’s dangerous. I’m in the third camp which is it is dangerous and if we don’t actually work on it, our adversaries will and we will lose all of our human rights — that was my position,” said Karp. 

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and owner of X, left, and Palantir CEO Alex Karp arrives participate in the “AI Insight Forum” in the Russell Senate Office Building in September 2023. BILL CLARK/CQ-ROLL CALL, INC VIA GETTY IMAGES.

In an excerpt from Musk’s biography, author Walter Isaacson revealed that in a secretive meeting between him and the billionaire, Musk pondered what could be done to make AI safe, including actions that could be taken to “assure that human consciousness survives.”

“Musk somberly speculated about the window of opportunity for building a sustainable human colony on Mars before an AI apocalypse destroyed earthly civilization,” Isaacson wrote. 

The Tesla CEO launched X.ai earlier this year with the goal of understanding the “true nature of the universe.” Musk has openly expressed his concerns about the future of AI several times, including in various posts on the X platform. 

In private and in public, Karp expressed the same opinions, he said.

“There’s a real risk here, but the upside is that America will outperform all other Western countries because we produce the technology, we have legal structures that allow us to implement it and we have the best talent and we are the most innovative,” Karp said.

© 2023 Zenger News.com. Zenger News does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager




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